FGD: Last stop, Winnipeg

I think I like those Jets sweaters best…

It may be hard to care about the result of tonights game while we our collective hearts are a flutter over the news that the Flames may be closing in on signing T.J Brodie to an extension (for what may be a reasonable price). However, the Flames have a game to play tonight against the Winnipeg Jets on “Rogers Presents: Placating Ron MacLean” or something. 

The Flames are closing out a long and fairly successful road trip that has seen them beat Nashville, Chicago, and Edmonton (wait, they’re still giving out points in the standings for beating the Oilers right?) and can finish the trip above .500 with a win tonight in Winnipeg. See the lineups for both squads after the jump.

THE FIGHTIN’ FLAMES

There are a few changes in the Flames roster from the last game against CBJ. Here are the Flames lines thanks to our buds at Daily Faceoff (forgive them for the Johnny’s jersey foul):

CGYWINFWD

Your friend and mine Johnny Gaudreau draws back into the lineup tonight after watching the Flames’ comeback efforts against Columbus fall one goal short. Gaudreau has, once again, been given a wonderful opportunity here with being on a line with Backlund. There’s a lot of speed on that line and hopefully JG can net his first point of the season tonight.

Training camp celebrity and hero from last game vs. Columbus Josh Jooris went down with an ‘upper body’ injury at some point in that game and will not play tonight which is a shame. Jooris scored a beautiful goal (off an all-world pass from Gio) and generally looked quite strong throughout his first NHL game. I think we are all looking forward to seeing him in action again soon.

I’m not sure about you guys, but I don’t think Sean Monahan has looked quite right this season. Aside from a couple nice passes to Jiri Hudler in the first couple games, he seems a step behind in the offensive zone and lost in his own zone. Hopefully he is just re-adjusting himself back to the pace of the pros and not indicative of a sophomore slump. On the bright side, he seems to have improved in the circle, posting 50% or better in four out of the first six games.

I’m not sure what Paul Byron has done to deserve the indignity of being placed on a line with Lance Bouma at centre. I would have thought if Setoguchi drew back in tonight, which he will, that he would likely be serving Bollig duty but apparently not. I have been very impressed with Byron, hell, since forever and I hope that this is isn’t some sort of punishment being levied against him.

CGYWIND

With Engelland still out with a lower-body injury, Diaz will play again tonight and be paired with Smid. I haven’t been disappointed with Diaz’s play so far this season and I like his ability to exit the zone. Sure he isn’t great in his own zone but I think the logic is that pairing him with Smid would balance that out. Sadly, Smid is terrible. 

Ryan Pike mentioned on twitter after last game that Kris Russell’s play has looked a lot more confident this season and that he looks quite poised with the puck. I have been pleased with Russell’s play so far (based solely on the eye test) and I think he has been the strongest defender outside of Brodano. Though that is not exactly a high bar.

Jonas Hiller starts in net tonight. His last start was pure thievery against Chicago, giving the Flames a 2-1 win in OT that they really had no business getting. 

T.J GALIARDI’S JETS

 

Here is the Jets roster thanks to Daily Faceoff:

CGYWINFWD

Many consider Winnipeg to be one of the west’s strongest contenders for the McDavid/Eichel sweepstakes but I’m not so sure, they seem more mediocre than god awful, save for a few timely injuries. Up front, the Jets have a pretty solid lineup with some useful bottom sixers in Frolik, Galiardi, and the youngster Lowry. Much like the Flames, this lineup isn’t anywhere near good enough to contend for a playoff spot but they may be good enough to win enough games to avoid the cellar.

Pavelec gets the start in net tonight for the Jets and has played not-so-bad so far this season with a .919 SV% so far this season in four games. Entering this season, Winnipeg was considered to have the worst goaltending tandem in the NHL with Pavelec and Hutchinson and the quality of their play will likely determine if they are in the running for McDavid this summer or not. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?

average

Outside of putting this game in the national spotlight on this new Rogers platform, this game would carry very little interest to the rest of the NHL as this isn’t exactly a clash of western titans. However, I don’t know about you all but I have a healthy distaste for the Jets and I can’t really even explain why. Perhaps it is their dumb jerseys? I don’t know. I just don’t really like them. 

Tonight Gaudreau will get another great shot at playing with some good linemates so this game will be interesting if only to see how he does with Backlund. Also, keep Paul Byron in your thoughts and prayers while he is on that line.

Puck drops at 5pm MT on…CITY?! am I reading that right?! correct me if I am wrong please..

  • piscera.infada

    Both Strombo and Scott Oak are saying this is Gaudreau’s first goal. Glen Healy saying he doesn’t deserve the jonny hockey nickname. What’s wrong with these people?

  • Parallex

    Mr. Healy, what you’ve just said is some of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • mk

    So that went well. It would be nice to bring the shot count into our favour and play some more sustainable hockey, but I’ll never complain about a win.

    Brodano is really powering this team at the moment.

  • BurningSensation

    Now according to this hockey panel, Calgary still has Reto Berra.

    Is there not a giant foam hook that can airlift Healy and Erectionhead off the set?

    • Flash

      And according to Healey, Hiller also was in the nets against St Louis as well as Chicago.
      wow! Sportsnet had some IGORATS on the panel as well as that postgame interview with Gio.

    • McRib

      Hahahahahaha, Erectionhead I love it. I HATE Damien Cox soooo much he honestly makes Glen Healey almost bearable for me. What an a**hat douche!!! At least PJ Stock is gone… Small wins.

  • SydScout

    Hartley:
    “That der Johnny can play good hockey. Maybe he should be playin’ dat RW more often.”. “He seems like he got da idea watchin dat hockey and eatin popcorn.”.

    Scott Oake:
    “What is the one story from this road trip? And there is only one answer.:.

    Gio:
    “Four wins….”.

    Scott Oake:
    “No. Johnny Hockey? Ever hear of him?”.

    Gems CBC, gems. Keep Healey for his insightful jibberish. Mabge him and Grant can discuss the finer points of hockey.

    • McRib

      Mark Giordano made Scott Oake look like an idiot, it’s sad when Hockey players regularly come off as being more insightful and articulate than the interviewer… WELCOME to the NEW Rodgers Sportsnet Hockey!!!

      It was so off topic that Oake brought that up… I guess he thought the Flames actually listened to Glenn Healy and wanted to make a story larger than it was, unfortunately for Oake, Gio only wanted to talk about team success.

    • Grayone

      The Flames Nation is a pleasure to go to after something like what happened tonight. Just to extend the vibe so to speak after such a fine win and a fine road trip … Oake’s question to Gio was sooo lame. Hard to believe it came from a vet like Scott Oake. Gio’s answer was dead-on.

      I had to head for home after the Flames tied it but on the radio it was so great to hear Willes (sp??) give Johnny props for his first goal of THIS season … fist pump time driving down McLeod! Then next shift JG passes to Raymond and bingo … double fist pump and a yes!! Great second period.

      Some quick points:

      – Bouma in the first … what an effort! Say what you will about the telecast but his effort was properly identified by the announcers et al.

      – great tying goal by Wideman. Great pinch by Russell and a real pro finish.

      – again say what you will but Strombo has real potential .. thought he did well.

      – Hiller with some very timely saves, very timely … many of the Jets shots were from a distance and pretty easy to stop imo but several were gilt edged chances to be sure.

      – Russell did well all game and I was surprised by Bolig at times … he looked effective.

      – finally, I thought the Flames closed out the game very well in the third. Jets looked demoralized near the end … Maurice has a ton of work to do to get them serviceable in the near term.

      I haven’t posted much but I have lurked this past year and FN really fills a niche! Many thanks all!

      PS: how about the Pearson-Toffoli (sp?) thing going on in LA? And props to Snow in Long Island! What an effect that Leddy and Boychuk have had … seems to have made everyone on the Islanders better and much more confident.

      PS#2: the NHL is supposed to be the pinnacle for coaches as well as players … how is it that Eakins in Edmton cannot teach his players how to play defense?? So puzzling because that defensively hole was so glaring last year and again it is showing this year as well?? Gone by Remembrance Day?

      Sorry for being so long-winded …

      • BurningSensation

        Re:

        Toffoli and Pearson – I think it’s interesting since both of them had ‘skating issues’ , and in the case of Pearson, had been passed over in a draft previously. Finding such useful players so late in the 1st is a tribute to their scouting.

        The Islanders had Tavares, and Nielsen at C, some nice wingers, signed Halak to be their goaltender, but desperately needed to add talent on defence. Getting both Boychuk and Leddy was a coup.

        In the case of Eakins, I honestly don’t think he’s the problem. The team is really bad, and is poorly constructed. You know the old adages; ‘you build down the middle’ and, ‘build from the goaltender out’? Well the Oilers have some pretty nice wingers.

  • RKD

    According to Pat Elliott Friedman via Pat Steinberg at the Fan 960, the Calgary Flames and TJ Brodie have agreed to a five year deal with a
    $4.65 AAV. Pretty good deal to get Brodie on those terms.

  • cgyokgn

    It looked like the Flames forgot how to play hockey in the 1st period except for Hiller. Diaz was a disaster and Smid can barely handle a puck. Good to see them turn it around in the 2nd.

    Although the Flames scored the one PP goal, the Jets seemed to have more chances on the PP – definitely needs work. Beautiful goal by Johnny Hockey and huge props to Bouma for sacrificing his body on the PK.

    The difference was probably goaltending. Hiller was good and Pavelec wasn’t. Anyway, the l-o-n-g road trip is over and somehow we have a 4 – 3 record. Go Flames!